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Three years ago Carmelo Anthony demanded to be traded by the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks. In Melo’s first two seasons in New York, the Knicks made the playoffs, reaching the eastern conference semi-finals in 2013. However, the Knicks slumped this last season, finishing the season with a 37-45 record.
Now, ‘Melo will reportedly opt out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks, which would pay him $23,333,403, to test free agency. As has been reported for some time, ‘Melo is interested in signing with the Chicago Bulls. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has reportedly reached out to former coaches of ‘Melo and seems to believe that he can get him to buy in to Chicago’s defensive culture. Recent reports suggest that Derrick Rose is now healthy and is starting to look like his old self. A big three of Rose, Joakim Noah, and ‘Melo could be as good as any in the league, and could make the Bulls contenders in the East as early as next season.
‘Melo is also reportedly considering the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets would need to move players like Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, though the team is reportedly confident they could execute such deals. Dirk Nowitzki recently said he did not believe ‘Melo would end up in Dallas, but said it would be great if ‘Melo has the Mavericks on his radar.
Knicks president Phil Jackson and head coach Derick Fisher will try and convince Anthony to re-sign with the Knicks, as they can offer him a bigger contract than any other team. However, the Knicks have little flexibility to improve next season and ‘Melo is now 30 and has not won a championship. After just three short years with the Knicks, it seems ‘Melo may be ready to move on.
On June 19, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Golden State Warriors had decided to make shooting guard Klay Thompson available in negotiations for Kevin Love. On Sunday, Chris Broussard of ESPN reported that the Warriors will not send Thompson to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal for Love.
It is not hard to understand why the Warriors are against including Thompson in any deals, even for a player as talented as Love. Stephen Curry and Thompson led the league in three pointers made in the league last season, and both shot over 40 percent from beyond-the-arc. In addition, Thompson has good size for a shooting guard and is very good defensive player.
While the Warriors may hesitate on including Thompson now, that stance may change again soon, considering how talented Love is. In addition, other teams will make competitive bids to Minnesota, putting more pressure on Golden State to give up Thompson.
The discussions surrounding Love will likely intensify over the next few days leading up to the draft on Thursday.
In 2008, the Los Angeles Lakers managed to swing a trade a for Pau Gasol. After seven seasons with the Lakers, Gasol may be ready to move on.
Gasol helped the Lakers win two championships in 2009 and 2010, but has often been included in trade rumors and was in fact included in the failed trade package for Chris Paul in 2011. Nevertheless, Gasol has been a major contributor each season with the Lakers. Last season, Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 blocks per game, and shot 48 percent from the field. Though Gasol will turn 34 next month, he is still one of the most talented and productive big men in the league.
The Mavericks were thin at center last season, relying on Samuel Dalembert, and Brandan Wright (who missed significant time with a shoulder injury). Putting Gasol next to Dirk Nowitzki would give the Mavericks one of the most talented power forward/center duos in the league. However, Gasol will have several suitors this offseason and may cost more than the Mavericks are willing to offer. Also, Dallas will not offer Gasol a significant contract until Carmelo Anthony makes it clear that he will sign with a team other than the Mavericks.
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